11 Feb, 2024: The UK’s Department of Science and Technology has unveiled a £100 million funding initiative for BioTech initiatives nationwide, aimed at pandemic preparedness, agricultural innovation, and protection against floods.

The funds will be disbursed among six new ‘Engineering Biology Mission Hubs’ and 22 ‘Mission Award’ projects across the country, that aim to harness Engineering Biology's vast potential to tackle global issues, spur economic development, and enhance national resilience.

As the government reaffirms its dedication to fostering growth and innovation in science, it aims to streamline research redtape, freeing scientists to focus on lab work developing vaccines instead of navigating excessive paperwork.

The Secretary of Science and Technology also revealed a series of initiatives to bolster the department's efforts, including allocating £21 million to the renowned Biobank. This funding will facilitate the acquisition of a new robotic freezer by the UK Biobank, intended to accommodate 20 million biological data samples. This investment aims to enhance research efforts aimed at combating diseases such as dementia and Parkinson's.

This investment will bring about the necessary long-term innovation to ensure a brighter future for Britain, enhancing economic security and opportunities for all.

“Long term growth is the only way we will deliver the public services and improvements in living standards that every Briton wants for themselves and their families,” said Michelle Donelan, science and technology secretary in a government press release. Furthermore, he added, “Cementing the UK as a Science and Technology superpower by 2030 is more than a slogan. It is a goal we must reach if we want to grow our economy, continue creating well-paid jobs and build a better, healthier, more prosperous future for the UK.’’

The comprehensive bundle of new announcements and pledges will be integral to making the UK a science and technology superpower by 2030 and delivering long-term change across the country.

This substantial boost not only underscores the government's commitment to prioritising public health and scientific innovation but also signals a proactive step towards bolstering the nation's pandemic preparedness. As the world continues to grapple with the challenges posed by infectious diseases, this investment reaffirms the UK's determination to remain at the forefront of global efforts to combat pandemics and protect lives.